Jan 18, 2022  
University Catalog 2021-2022 
University Catalog 2021-2022
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ESF-5701: Continental Ecology: Ecology, Conservation and Natural Resource Manangement in the Mountains of Arizona

In northern Arizona where the San Francisco peaks tower above the Sonoran desert, Merriam first described the concept of the life zone: from the high elevation alpine and Hudsonian systems through the Ponderosa Pine and oak woodlands to the Sonoran desert grassland and shrub systems in the canyons below. South of the San Francisco Peaks, in southeastern Arizona, where the Sonoran, Chihuahuan, and Mojave deserts meet the Rocky Mountains to the north and the Sierra Madre to the south, the Madrean Sky Islands support an impressive variety of rare and endemic plants and animals, and they also serve as exemplary natural laboratory to explore ecological concepts, principles of evolution and conservation, political and cultural elements of conservation, and solutions to natural resource management challenges. During this trip, we will learn how these isolated sky island systems provided the evolutionary context that promotes high rates of endemism, and how they might offer stability in the face of an uncertain climate. We will discuss the many ecosystem functions they provide including water to the deserts below, and the challenges associated with maintaining connectivity. We’ll also discuss the social and political challenges surrounding the use, management, and protection of these resources including the spiritual, cultural, and historical importance of the Sky Islands and desert landscapes to indigenous groups.
Min. Credits: 3.0
Credit Basis: Semester credit
Location(s): Antioch Univ New England
Method(s): Classroom,Field Study
Faculty Consent Required: N
Program Approval Required: N
Course Type Environmental Studies and Sustainability

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